Delhi’s best known Poorvanchal leader, West Delhi MP Mahabal Mishra, has, over the years, become a force to reckon with owing to the increase in the vote bank of this segment. He tells Devesh K. Pandey about how his politics has grown beyond regional lines and the factors that will determine the outcome of the upcoming Delhi Assembly elections
What are the key factors that will determine the outcome of the Delhi Assembly elections?
Development is going to be the main factor. The kind of all-round development, both in terms of infrastructure and general living conditions, the city has witnessed in the past 15 years under Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit is there for all to see. Citizens acknowledge and appreciate the phenomenal change in the living standards brought about under the Chief Minister’s leadership.
As a Congress MLA, I had undertaken a series of developmental works in my constituency. I implemented projects for laying of sewer pipelines, 24X7 water supply, laying of electricity lines, making arrangements for water tankers, provision for three schools, a hospital and dispensaries and development of parks besides other work.
Will price rise have any bearing on the elections, especially in the wake of the sky-rocketing onion prices?
Absolutely not. People understand that price rise today is a global phenomenon. The BJP is only making failed attempts to exploit the issue to their advantage. So far as onions are concerned, its price has fallen drastically after the Delhi Government started facilitating sale at a reasonable rate. Instead, development is going to be the core issue.
What factors, apart from development, will impact the outcome of the polls?
We have empowered people through a series of important legislations on issues like Right to Information, food security, land acquisition and right to education. Our constant endeavour to ensure overall growth and development will certainly be appreciated by the voters.
Will the projection of Narendra Modi as BJP’s prime ministerial candidate influence the outcome?
It is not going to make any difference in the Assembly elections. Besides, people are well aware of the ideology he represents. Delhi elections will be fought primarily between Sheila Dikshit-led Congress and Harsh Vardhan-led BJP on the issue of development. Given that we have provided to the people of Delhi efficient, clean and transparent governance, I am sure we will sweep the elections.
Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party is making its debut in electoral politics. Don’t you fear that it will make inroads into your party’s support base?
There is no major political space for this fledgling party in Delhi. In fact, the AAP stands on a weak footing. It being born out of cheating and lies fed to the people by those who claimed to be torchbearers of anti-corruption movement.
They initially claimed that they would not join politics and then they cheated Anna Hazare. The Congress will only benefit from the AAP’s participation as it will negate the anti-incumbency factor by eating into the BJP’s potential support base.
What is the role of the social media in your campaign?
I believe in face-to-face interactions and meet roughly 1,000 people from my constituency every day. Social media is for those who operate from behind the four walls of their offices. As a political leader, I am always accessible to the people from my constituency and make all possible attempts to resolve their problems at the earliest.
As an MP you have to discharge multiple responsibilities. With elections round the corner, how does your family help you in campaigning?
No one can be a successful politician without his or her family’s support. Family discussions in a politician’s house everyday revolve around issues of social welfare and all the members get drawn into daily affairs.
My son Vinay Mishra is a dedicated Congress worker and has been assisting me for the past decade. All this while he has been my rock and has been working in my constituency with devotion. He has been instrumental in the developmental works, particularly in Dwarka.